April 18, 2019
There is a balance between automation, and feedback. If you totally remove the operators away from the feedback of periodic measurements, they may be less aware of the nuances of the process over time.
Total automation, without any user interaction, can be counterproductive. It can take the operators out of the loop. For cases where your facility has been able to totally automate WinSPC’s data collection, you may need to find a way to directly and actively engage the operators, so that they are both in a position of awareness and a position to readily react to issues.
One modern day example we can use, as to the merits of active participation, is with the emerging self-driving car market. Often these new systems are required, by law, to have a human driver ‘supervise’ the autopilot. This is intended to prevent accidents that the autopilot might not be able to detect and avoid. But having a driver that isn’t actively driving can allow the human driver to become distracted, leading to the nascent, auto-pilot technology to be effectively unsupervised. And this can lead to accidents.
To address this, customers can add in-process manual checks to their routine. Because you already have an automated system, it isn’t necessary to take as large of a sample size or collect data at as high of a frequency as the automated data collection tools. Even adding one manual check per shift can put your operators back into the flow and the habit of directly viewing, observing, and troubleshooting real-time control charts.
WinSPC’s Dashboards and Plant Monitor are excellent (mostly) passive tools to help keep operators engaged. But the classic WinSPC Data Collection window is the primary way designed to keep operators engaged with their process.
About DataNet Quality Systems
DataNet Quality Systems empowers manufacturers to improve products, processes, and profitability through real-time statistical software solutions. The company’s vision is to deliver trusted and capable technology solutions that allow manufacturers to create the highest quality product for the lowest possible cost. DataNet’s flagship product, WinSPC, provides statistical decision-making at the point of production and delivers real-time, actionable information to where it is needed most. With over 2500 customers worldwide and distributors across the globe, DataNet is dedicated to delivering a high level of customer service and support, shop-floor expertise, and training in the areas of Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing services.